Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surrogacy’s Strange Bedfellows

As states continue to pass legislation allowing for same-sex marriage, an increasing number of gay rights groups have begun to expand the scope of their efforts to include greater access to children for same-sex couples—and changing the legal definition of parenthood to accommodate third-party reproduction. So far, the use of sperm and egg donors remains relatively uncontroversial; gametes are widely available for purchase in most states. Surrogacy, on the other hand, is more regulated and has engendered greater debate over the ethical issues involved. Meet Brad Hoylman: A State Senator in New York, where commercial surrogacy is prohibited. He was profiled along with his partner David Sigal, in a recent New York Times profile chronicling their firsthand experience of hiring a surrogate mother in California to give birth to their daughter. Like many gay New Yorkers seeking children, Hoylman and Sigal were forced to look outside the state for a surrogate mother, and Hoylman—being in a position of power—is aiming to change that.

Yet the traditional political allegiances of liberal versus conservative are thoroughly scrambled when it comes to surrogacy debates. In states where surrogacy legislation has been or continues to be debated, some of the strangest and unlikeliest of coalitions have formed to either support or oppose such measures.  (more...)

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